Your dream vacation home may not be out of reach

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Since I moved to the area more than 10 years ago, March has become my new favorite month of the year. I love all the events and festivals that start the new season. Many visitors come back year after year to attend these events and will rent vacation homes.     

When people dream of vacation homes, often they cut themselves off quickly, thinking they would never be able to afford one. However, new research by the National Association of Realtors shows that is probably not the case. While vacation homes are obviously a big investment, they aren’t out of reach for those under the six-figure salary mark.

 According to the association’s 2015 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, the median household income for those who own a vacation property is $94,380, only about $15,000 more than the median income for those who own their primary residence ($79,650). And if you thought buyers needed cash to buy a second home, think again — 70 percent of vacation homes purchased last year were financed with a mortgage.

As visitors return home from their holidays, they might be curious about buying a vacation home and start to research the possibilities. While all the information available online is great, there is nothing like a Realtor to assist you in your decision. Only a Realtor has access to the latest figures and data for the Hilton Head area and can supply the most accurate information to help you make an informed decision.

The market is off to a great start for 2016. In the first month of the new year, new listings were up 18.6 percent to 554. Pending sales increased 1.6 percent to 318. Inventory grew 2.6 percent to 2,303 units. Prices moved higher as the median sales price was up 27.4 percent to $300,650. Months supply of inventory was down 12.2 percent to 6.5 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply.

If you know someone thinking of buying a vacation home in the area, be sure they work with a Realtor and a member of the Hilton Head Area Association of Realtors.

Jean Beck is the executive vice president of the Hilton Head Area Association of Realtors.